Pokémon is Finally Changing?
Pokemon nowadays is a household name and anyone born in the last decade knows about it and its mascot Pickachu. It has everything from mainline games and anime series to toys and cards. But if you have been a franchise fan from the start, you might have seen how it has stagnated and lowered in terms of quality.
This came to a head when Generation 8 of the Pokémon games was released; to say fans were unhappy was an understatement. It cut the National Dex, reduced the amount of new Pokémon, and had the most boring story with excessive hand-holding. Compared to other fan games like Rejuvenation and Unbound, it was pathetic.
But Game Freak it seems like, has finally listened to the fans’ complaints and is actively trying to better Pokémon. This began slowly with the anime changing its format and now with Pokémon Legend Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. This has led many to believe that Pokémon has already started to change but is that true? Find out below.
Ash, The Pokémon Master?
It’s hard to believe that a journey that started in Pallet Town all those years ago with a 10-year-old boy and his electric mouse would become one of the most extensive and longest-running series ever. And now that it might be ending, one can’t help but look back at its highs and lows, from the thrilling battles of Karlos and Sinnoh to the character moments of Alola and Unova. We have seen Ash travel to many regions and battle some of the strongest trainers to win and lose. But even in defeat, he has not given up and keeps on moving and trying to better himself, leading to Pokémon Journey, which seems like the finale of Ash’s journey.
Pokémon Journey the series, on the other hand, is a departure from the regional formula and had us see Ash and his companions explore old and new areas. Ash’s team, this time around, also improved, paying homage to his classics while being the strongest. But the show’s finale gives fans what they have wanted for a long time.
The journey’s finale has us see all the champions of the regions gather for the champion’s eight tournaments to decide once and for all who is the Pokémon Master. As the Champion of Alola, Ash also participates and manages to beat Steven Stones, and to the surprise of many, Cynthia finally faces Leon in the finals. In a spectacular display with Pickachu, Ash eventually won the battle and claimed the title of Pokémon Master. With this win, the saga of Ash has finally come to a close, and fans are now eager to see what the future holds for the series.
Generation 9 and the winds of change
After the disaster of Gen 8, Game Freak decided to change its formula with the release of Pokémon Arceus. This change garnered them critical acclaim, and fans loved it. So, Game Freak decided to pursue it further by making fully open-world Pokémon games in Generation 9. These would be dubbed Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, respectively.
It featured the wild areas from Gen 8, which have been upgraded and made into the whole map. This time you can also challenge the gym leader and gym in any order you want. This made the fans finally happy as some of their complaints were addressed.
That isn’t to say that everything is fine. The game at launch only has a limited amount of Pokémon from the previous generations and has numerous bugs with constant frame drops. Some of them can be attributed to the low specs of the Switch, but Game Freak should fix these issues in updates as they affect the enjoyability of the games.
Graphics are also, according to some, not up to par with the rest of the AAA games released, but in defense of Pokémon, it has always lagged in terms of graphics. Art direction and style are where this game shine as you roam the region filled to the brim with wild Pokémon to encounter and battle.
To many, these games might seem like a buggy launch. Still, with 10 million plus copies sold in 3 days, it shows that the fans’ faith has been restored in the series. If Game Freak keeps following this trend to evolve the gameplay of the series and even introduce some fan-favorite mechanics from Pokémon Go or Pokémon Master, it will reach even greater heights.
Pokémon, in its decades-long run, had let itself stagnate, but finally, with the outcry of fans and negative press, it has started to change. Hopefully, our childhood classic will continue to evolve and give the generations to come to the same joy it gave us.